We all want to give our children more and better.
More than we had as children. Better opportunities.
More toys, better food, more clothes, better education, more experiences, better sports skills, more extra-curricula activities, better prospects for adulthood.
Oh my gosh. All the more and better!
There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these things, or with wanting to give them to our children, but it can’t be in place of ourselves.
How many times have you told your child “just a sec” while you finish a text message or an email?
Me: I’m embarrassed to admit, but the short answer is… too many.
How many times has your child asked to play a game with you and you’ve brushed them off or led them to a different activity because – let’s be honest – you don’t actually want to play Lego warriors right now. Or ever.
Me: *sheepishly raises hand*
No one’s judging. We all get it. We’re busy. We have way too much on our plates and honestly, if we don’t answer that text right now, it may never get answered.
But would that really be such a disaster?
Would the world really fall apart if we didn’t respond to every outside call on our time as soon as it arrives?
The answer is no.
I’m on a mission to make 2018 more and better for my whole family.
More presence. Better companionship. More peace. Better focus.
Will you join me? Here’s the plan…
Put down the phone.
Let’s set a time during which our phone is on silent and in another area of the house away from where we’re hanging out with the kids. Our kids shouldn’t have to compete with an electronic device, or with anyone else trying to get our attention.
If you homeschool, that might be 8 am -12 noon and then 6-8 pm. If your kids go to school your switch-off time might look more like 7-9 am and then 3-7 pm. Whatever works – just block the interference and be present.
Say yes to them.
Let’s commit to saying yes to their game or choice of activity at least once a day. It may not be our thing, but it’s their thing and we will find ourselves getting to know them better when we spend time with them doing what they love.
Additionally, if we have a special thing (work, hobby, creative pursuit, special adventure) that we want our kids to understand, it’s hard to expect them to come to our party if we won’t go to theirs. If we want them to understand what we are passionate about, we have to make an effort to understand what they love.
Granted, if you have more than a couple of kids, this might get difficult, so chop it up. On Monday, your oldest gets to choose the family game, then on Tuesday it’s the second oldest and so on.
It’s all about time.
We all think we have an infinite amount of time in our lives, that somehow we’ll just keep going. Despite the fact that death is the only absolutely certain event in the life of every human, we somehow trick ourselves into thinking that we have time to spare. But we don’t.
And the time we have with our children following us around like shadows is (hopefully!) far shorter than our life will be. So let’s seize it. Let’s really and truly try to bask in this glorious, messy, crazy, fun and delightful period of motherhood when we actually have babes in the nest.
We aren’t grandparents yet. We don’t have to give these babies back. We get to keep them – day in and day out. Let’s enjoy this precious time, and let’s fall in love with motherhood.
PS. If you’re struggling through a particularly difficult period in your motherhood, please make sure you talk to someone you love about it and get the support you need to thrive.